Planet Booty and TWRP

Planet Booty of Oakland and TWRP of Toronto are musical compadres.

The East Bay trio and the Canadian foursome first met in June 2017 when Planet Booty was booked last-minute to open for TWRP at the Valley Bar in Phoenix.

By October 2017, the bands had become fast friends, mutual fans, and tour mates. Now they are collaborators, partnering on the single “Tactile Sensation.” The song is featured on TWRP’s new album Together Through Time, released May 18.

TWRP wrote the track’s music and was steadfast when it came to the title.

“It started out as what we thought was a funny, awesome song title. We worked backwards from there and wrote a funky demo that we thought could fit the title,” said TWRP lead singer and keytarist Doctor Sung. “Literally the only direction we gave Planet Booty before handing them the demo was that it had to be called ‘Tactile Sensation.’ They nailed it so incredibly hard with what they came up with. Now it’s kind of got a nostalgic, groovy, bad-boyness to it.“

Planet Booty sings vocals on the track and wrote the lyrics with the title as a creative starting point.

“The song is about having a crush on someone, seeing them at a show or club or anywhere and thinking what joy it would be to feel their touch,” said Planet Booty lead singer Dylan Charles Germick. “It’s that high school type of feeling where the biggest thing that could happen is, ‘Wow! I held their hand or they kissed me on the cheek or we just danced for a second.’ It is amazing how those sweet flirtatious moments, those tiny little interactions can be so meaningful.”

It is hard to imagine that not long ago, Planet Booty and TWRP were none too familiar with one another. The fortuitous gig at the Valley Bar brought the two groups together. As the night progressed, their many commonalities surfaced and their band-mance began.

“We agreed to do it but we had no idea who they were,” Germick said. “It wasn’t until the day before the show on the way to Phoenix that we were like, ‘Alright, who the hell are these guys TWRP?’”

Right off the bat Germick noticed, “They’ve got a dumb band name like we do.” A Google search en route to the venue revealed that both bands describe their music as electro-funk, though Planet Booty has elements of soul and R&B and TWRP has elements of rock.

Both groups have songs with notably similar themes. Planet Booty’s 1990s-inspired catalog includes “Take Off Your Pants,” “Treat My Body Right,” and “Galaxy.” TWRP’s 1980s-inspired catalog includes “The No Pants Dance,” “Body Image,” and “Interstellar Strut.”

Meanwhile, the TWRP guys had a cursory introduction to Planet Booty’s work and were likewise struck by the trio’s comical name.

“Months before that fateful night, our agent slid one of

[Planet Booty’s] music videos our way and suggested [they] play with us, as they were also looking for a show that night,” Doctor Sung said. “We felt compelled to say yes based simply on their band name.”

Planet Booty

As Planet Booty began to set up their equipment on the Valley Bar stage, members caught a glimpse of TWRP’s gear which was already in place. “They had the same talk box, same bass rig. There’s a lot of similarities there,” Germick said.

A mutual admiration grew as the bands watched each other perform. TWRP members wear costumes and remain anonymous. Planet Booty bandmates get up close to their audience and dance with fans. But both groups are positive and inclusive with a heavy dose of humor. And both give high-energy live shows designed to make people dance and feel good about themselves.

“[We] really didn’t understand how awesome they were until we saw them live,” Doctor Sung said of Planet Booty. “I vividly recall being two songs into their set, and me and one of the other guys in TWRP just looked at each other with dumb grins on our faces, and almost in unison proclaimed, ‘This is my new favorite band.’”

“They are a group of unbelievably talented musicians, extremely well rehearsed,” Germick said of TWRP. “They’ve got the full package — performance, stage banter, costumes, themes, and everything is right on point. We were taking notes. They are super funky with a professional-grade style.”

The bands’ playful lead singers have similar aesthetics. “Both frontmen [have] impeccable taste in facial hair,” Doctor Sung said, referring to their distinctive mustaches. Sung’s is obscured by his orange pylon hat. “We have a love for extremely form-fitting clothing,” Germick said, referring to his tight collared suits and Doctor Sung’s yellow bodysuit.

After the show, the two bands hung out and realized their connection as artists and friends. Soon after, TWRP invited Planet Booty to join a six-date tour across the Midwest. Then TWRP retreated for about a month to write an album and asked Planet Booty to co-write one of the songs.

“The combination of musicianship, humor, and overall radness as people is why we’ve wanted to make music and tour with [Planet Booty],” Doctor Sung said. “You spend a lot of time with the few people you create and tour with, so it’s incredibly important to make those people count.”

Together Through Time includes “Tactile Sensation” and 13 other songs ranging in style from 1970s disco to 1980s rock to synth wave.

Planet Booty opened for TWRP during their album release concert at The Opera House in Toronto. The bands will tour together this summer, playing about 30 dates across the US. They will perform at the site where it all began – the Valley Bar in Phoenix on June 27 — with a show at Brick and Mortar Music Hall in San Francisco on July 7.

“I believe we can shake things up with them,” Germick said. “It is such a wind in our sails to know that there is a band like us. We see them thriving and being able to support themselves, make music as much as they want, and say what they want…TWRP has shown us there is a reason to be hopeful.”

TWRP, Planet Booty
Brick and Mortar Music Hall
July 7, 2018
9 pm, $12